Not a Slippery Slope, No Slope At All
Those who advocate caution before instituting a change to longstanding ethics and morals often warn that a small change or exception to a moral norm will lead to accelerated and uncontrolled change – the “slippery slope” argument.
Such caution is often derided by those favoring social change who consider the use of the slippery slope argument pandering to fear.
Just exactly how many slips must we take before the slippery slope argument gets more traction? Each and every time we find ourselves sliding down the slope at morally dizzying speeds, it is well to remember we had been warned, but of little solace.
Respect Life advocates have warned that physician assisted suicide, originally demanded for those in intractable pain with terminally fatal disease, will broaden to include non-life threatening conditions and be used without the patient’s consent. Moreover, the rights of health care providers to abstain from morally objectionable legal practices will come under assault. Recent popes and bishops have warned that permissive attitudes toward abortion will lead to a coarsening of social life and a commodification of the human person.
Right to Euthanasia?
The Netherlands are a social experiment in end-of-life practice. Let’s take a look at a recent case report. (Bioedge ) A 19 year old woman who suffered from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) since age 12 had, with her parents’ approval, applied for euthanasia under Dutch law. A date for the killing was set and was proceeding according to plan until the woman’s general health care practitioner withdrew her approval of the killing. The hospital at which the euthanasia was to occur then also withdrew its support. In despair, the young woman fled to her family’s apple orchard where she hung herself. Her family has filed a complaint against the general practitioner with the medical regulatory board in order that the physician not be able to “get away with” withdrawing consent for the killing.
Right to Life ?
Closer to home, the undercover videos showing top administrators of Planned Parenthood cunningly discussing remuneration for the bodies of aborted embryos with an eerie indifference to the lives of their “material,” have demonstrated that almost any protection or prohibition built into our permissive abortion laws can be artfully dodged. It would be hard to write a script which shows the commodification of human life in the abortion industry more clearly than these business lunch discussions with Planned Parenthood officials show. Many Americans now demand that the flow of federal tax dollars to such a morally repugnant industry be stemmed.
Take some time this weekend to research some of the dangers to our lives on this planet, not just in the ecosystem, but in our attitudes and legislation. Let us pray for a deeper respect for each unique human life and demand that such respect be reflected in the way we care for the unborn and the vulnerable in our society.